Deirdre Smith finished a remarkable nine shots clear of the field to go through as leading qualifier in the Irish Senior Women’s Amateur Close Championship at Strandhill.
The County Louth golfer backed up her opening 74 with a stunning 68 to finish on -2, ahead of Deirdre Walsh (Milltown) on +7 and Mary MacLaren (Royal Portrush) on +9.
In one of the ties of the last 16, Connacht Women’s Over 18 Senior Champion, Suzanne Corcoran (Portumna) will clash with new European Senior winner Alison Taylor (Malahide).
In the Senior Men’s Amateur Close, Christopher O’Connor (Corrstown) advanced as the leading qualifier thanks to a pair of 67s, leaving him on -6.
Woodstock’s Tony Cleary ended up second three shots in arrears with Joe Lyons (Galway), Eddie McCormack (Galway Bay) and Derek Basquill (Enniscrone) all on -2.
Gavin Tiernan continued his outstanding form with a second successive 64 to finish the qualifying round of the Irish Boys’ Amateur Close Championship eight shots clear of the field.
The County Louth golfer ended up on -12 at the conclusion of his second round with Noah Bickerstaff (Massereene) his closest challenger on -4 in Monkstown. Finlay Eager (Royal Belfast) is third on -2 with Jack Murphy (Douglas) the only other player to break par.
The top 16 golfers advance to tomorrow’s matchplay where they battle it out for the Championship, with the second 16 playing for the Plate.
It is the same structure for the Irish Girls’ Amateur Close, where Anna Abom (Edmondstown) finished with a big advantage at the top of the leaderboard again today.
Her round of 68 was enough to secure a total of -11 and a ten-shot lead over Gemma McMeekin (Royal Portrush) and Caitlin Shippam (Ballykisteen).